Hello and welcome back! Today I’m sharing my Weekend Guide to Vernon, BC! Vernon is one of those perfect summer getaway destinations from Vancouver. I posted a few pictures of my recent trip to Vernon in my last post, which I will link for you here. Be sure to check that one out after having a read through this weekend guide! Vernon is so beautiful, as you will see in the photos. It’s also much quieter than other areas of the Okanagan which means less traffic, fewer line ups at restaurants and less hiker traffic on the trails! This is what makes Vernon so appealing to me, not to mention that the scenery is gorgeous.
Here are some suggestions of how to spend the perfect weekend in Vernon:
Vernon Weekend Guide
How to Get There
If you’re departing from Vancouver, driving is a great option and my preference. It’s about a 5 hour drive from downtown Vancouver. Take Highway 1 East to Hope, then the take the #5 Coquihalla highway North to Merritt. In the summer you can take the 97C East from Merritt to Vernon via Kelowna.
Stops along the way: Bridal Veil Falls is a gorgeous waterfall that is right off Highway 1. Take exit 135 for Agassiz/Harrison and keep left at the fork towards Bridal Veil Falls. Follow signs for Bridal Veil falls until you reach the parking lot. Signage around the falls is very well marked. It’s a short 15 minute walk (slight uphill but nothing strenuous) to get the the falls. If you’re wanting a closer view of the falls, you can continue on a short hike up to the left-hand side.
If you’re short for time, taking a quick flight to Vernon is an option. The closest airport to Vernon is Kelowna (YLW) and the flight duration is less than an hour from Vancouver International airport.
What to Do
The perfect summer getaway for me must include some hikes, good eats and some time soaking up the sun on the beach. Kal Beach is my go-to in Vernon and it’s a lovely sandy beach to relax in the sun. You can find me here with an ice cream cone on a hot day! Kal Beach is located at 13836 Kalamalka Road and parking is located off of Husband Road.
There are many hikes to do around Vernon, one of my favourites is the short, beginner-friendly hike to Dog Beach in Kalamalka Lake Park. We spotted a beautiful deer here on our most recent trip. Another good hike is BX Creek and Falls Trail, which is located along Silver Star Road towards Silver Star Mountain. It’s a beginner friendly hike, about 2 hours round trip with a slight incline. I’ve done a post with more information on Silver Star Mountain and you can read the full post here.
Watching the sunset at the top of Middleton Mountain is another must do for me when I’m in Vernon for the weekend. It’s a short, easy hike (it’s more of a hill actually) with stunning views of Kalamalka lake. There are also some trails on the top of Middleton where the locals go to walk their dogs. To get to the base of Middleton Mountain, the main access point is located in a residential neighbourhood along Mt. Ida drive. You’ll see a path to a set of stairs from Mt. Ida drive, leading up to the top of the hill.
I also love to stroll around Downtown Vernon and browse the local boutiques with an iced coffee in hand. My favouite spots for coffee are listed below!
Where to Relax
Sparkling Hill Resort is a luxury report spa located in Vernon, that overlooks Okanagan Lake. This is the main view overlooking the lake from the deck of the resort. The view is even more beautiful in person! I have yet to visit this spa but it’s definitely on my list for my next weekend trip to Vernon. I’ve had several friends tell me about Sparkling Hill and it comes highly recommended.
Where to Eat/Drink
The best coffee (in my opinion!) is from Ratio Coffee and Pastry on 29th Street and from Bean Scene on 30th Ave. downtown. Both serve delicious coffee and have outdoor patios. Some of my favourite restaurants include the Italian Kitchen on 30th Ave and Tita’s Italian Bistro on 41st Ave.
Thanks so much for reading! If you have any questions or comments, let me know in the comment section below! I’d be more than happy to answer them. And also let me know what you guys are getting up to for the summer! If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably know that I just returned from a week long trip in Alberta. My husband Rory and I did some hiking and exploring around Jasper and Banff with friends and it was fantastic! Stay tuned for Jasper and Banff posts, coming at ya soon!